Date of Award

Spring 5-16-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Ara Parker


Psychosis is a serious symptom of mental illness that is characterized by a detachment from reality. This can include experiencing visual, auditory, or tactile hallucinations, as well as delusions or false beliefs (American Psychiatric Association, DSM-V, 2013). Psychosis is a symptom of many disorders including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, substance use disorder, and dementia, among many others. Art therapy is often overlooked as a valuable treatment for psychosis, mainly due to a lack of research in the field and the difficulty of maintaining controlled research parameters with this acute population (Tamminga & Lahti, 2011). Likewise, psychosis is generally perceived as manageable through the use of medications, even though there is no definitive cure for the symptom (Tamminga & Lahti, 2011). As a result, art therapy is regularly underutilized as an adjunctive therapy in treatment plans for psychosis. This literature review compiles the known research on this topic to evaluate what has already been discovered in the field of art therapy and psychosis and to then guide directions for further research. With this information collected, it is hoped that art therapy may begin to be used more frequently as an intervention for psychosis. The purpose in writing this literature review is to gather some of the known research regarding the efficacy of art therapy with people experiencing psychosis because it is an area in which the applications of art therapy are not clearly defined. This paper will discuss when art therapy is appropriate to use with psychosis and identify how that treatment should look and when it should occur.The ultimate findings of this review are that art therapy has the potential to be an important adjunctive therapy for psychosis for the purposes of stabiliztion, maintainance, and treatment of negative symptoms.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.




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